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New Napster Music Service Powered by Windows Media 9 Series; Launch of Napster 2.0 Offers Music Fans Entirely New Experiences Through Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2004 PCs and Windows Media Player 9 Series.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that the long-awaited Napster(R) 2.0 online music service, unveiled today, will be powered by Windows Media(R) 9 Series. Napster 2.0 takes full advantage of the leading digital media platform available today to deliver an entirely new and innovative experience to music fans.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )

Napster 2.0 will be accessible via the Premium Services tab in Windows Media Player 9 Series, which provides users with the ability to seamlessly manage and enjoy content in one easy-to-use place: They can search, browse, download and organize their music before playback and download it to portable music devices or burn it to a CD. 100 million copies of Windows Media Player 9 Series have been downloaded since its launch in January, helping ensure broad reach for the Napster 2.0 service.

Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Media Center Edition 2004 PC features Napster 2.0, making it the first online music service that allows consumers to enjoy their digital music wherever they want and provides customers with an entirely new, innovative way to access more than half a million songs directly from their televisions or Windows-based PCs using the convenience of a remote control. Napster will also be available via http://www.napster.com/ .

Napster users will enjoy virtually "instant-on" playback experiences with high-quality music samples and full-screen video made possible with Windows Media 9 Series and Windows Server(TM) 2003 Fast Streaming technology. Fast Streaming makes it possible for music fans to listen to audio and watch video on Windows with nearly instantaneous delivery of their selected content.

"At a pivotal time in the evolution of digital music, Napster 2.0 delivers the right service at the right time," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Music fans can now enjoy high-quality digital music wherever they want, from the comfort of their living rooms to a myriad of portable devices."

"We have an extensive relationship with Microsoft," said Mike Bebel, president of Napster. "Napster 2.0 utilizes the Windows Media platform and will also be available to millions of music fans through the Windows Media Player 9 Series. In addition, through Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 PCs, music fans will be able to take their digital music beyond the PC so they can access and enjoy Napster in their living rooms, using just a remote control."

Napster 2.0 also provides music fans with access to the quality and innovative compression of Windows Media Audio 9, which provides higher-quality music content in half the file size of MP3. This allows consumers to download music more quickly, store more music on their PCs, burn more music onto CDs and transfer twice the music to their favorite digital music player, with more than 40 devices supporting music transferred from Napster's music service.

More information on all the devices that support Windows Media can be found at http://windowsmedia.com/9series/Personalization/CoolDevices.asp .

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, used by consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations throughout the world. The Windows Media 9 Series platform includes Windows Media Player 9 Series; Windows Media Services 9 Series, the powerful streaming server feature in Windows Server 2003 for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder 9 Series for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media Digital Rights Management to help protect content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers to develop digital media products and services. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is now the leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

NOTE: Microsoft, Windows Media, Windows and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

CONTACT: press only, John Conroy, +1-310-201-8878, or jconroy@rogersandcowan.com, or Nancy Sullivan, +1-310-201-8899, or nsullivan@rogersandcowan.com, both of Rogers & Cowan, for Microsoft

Web site: http://www.napster.com/

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 9, 2003
Words:760
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